Hardwood Floors Improve Indoor Air Quality

Hardwood Floor PhotoYou probably think a lot about whether the food you eat is safe. But how safe is the flooring surface in your home?
When it comes to flooring, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finds that hardwood floors improve indoor air quality. They don’t harbor microorganisms, allergens or pesticides that can be tracked in from outdoors. Hardwood floors also minimize the accumulation of dust, mold and animal dander, which makes them a healthy option for your child’s first steps and beyond.
Allergens can exist everywhere. Some are more common outdoors, like pollen and mold spores, while others are more common indoors, like dust mites and animal dander. All allergen sources, however, can be present anywhere at any time. And because the impact of air-borne allergy-related illnesses can be staggering – up to $17.5 billion in health care costs and more than 6 million work and school days lost each year – it makes sense to prevent and minimize allergy triggers whenever possible.
While outdoor allergens can be hard to control, there are ways to minimize the impact of allergens that occur indoors. Frequent dusting, vacuuming, and washing will minimize many indoor allergens, but these activities can stir them up as well. One way to prevent allergens altogether is to eliminate many of the areas where they can gather.
Flooring is one area of the indoor environment where the number of indoor allergens can be controlled. Certain types of flooring, such as carpet, are simply better gathering places for allergens. Small microorganisms, pollen, dust, dust mites, mold, animal dander and other substances tend to accumulate in carpet fibers. Other flooring types, such as wood, tend to minimize the accumulation of allergens because there are no fibers to trap these substances. Taking steps to minimize these kinds of allergens can result in improved indoor air quality.

Learn About the Sand-and-Finish Process

Are you looking to update your hardwood floors before the onset of holiday gathering traffic? Prepared by Bona, these tips will help you understand what to expect before, during and after the sand-and-finish process.

https://us.bona.com/articles/what-to-expect-when-sanding-and-finishing-hardwood-floors.html

Maintenance Tips for Hardwood Floors

When you consider the overall life of a hardwood floor, the benefits of wood flooring outweigh the initial cost. Here are some maintenance tips to help you keep your floors looking great.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened cloth.
  • Use breathable throw rugs at doorways to help prevent debris from being tracked in and scratching the floor.
  • Sweep with a soft bristle broom or dry microfiber mop. A wet mop and steam mop are not recommended because water and steam can damage the finish and the wood.
  • Follow a regular cleaning schedule to ensure a better performance of the floor. Sweep or dust mop as needed, vacuum weekly using the bare floor setting and clean with the appropriate wood floor cleaner monthly.
  • Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to minimize gaps between the floor boards.
  • Ask a wood flooring professional for a recommended maintenance schedule. Schedules vary depending on use, finish wear and tear and lifestyle.
  • Ask a professional if your wood floor could use a new coat of finish. Most scratches in wood flooring will occur in the finish, not the wood itself. A professional may be able to lightly abrade the finish and apply a new coat to restore the floor.
  • Consider new finish options to give an updated look and style. There are wood floors in excess of 300 years old that are still in service today, but have gone through numerous style changes.

What’s the Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood Floor PhotoAvoid Water and Vinegar to Best Clean Hardwood Floors

Looking for the best way to clean hardwood floors? What may work for some parts of your home might not be the perfect match for your floors. Finding an effective way to get the best clean for your hardwood floors is an important step in effective hardwood floor care.

Avoid Cleaning with White Vinegar and Water for Hardwood Floors

For many people looking for a quick and easy DIY cleaning solution, nothing beats vinegar and water. Cleaning with vinegar and water is cheap, safe for the environment and generally does a great job at cleaning many items in your home.

Just don’t use vinegar and water to clean hardwood floors.

Using vinegar and water as a homemade hardwood floor cleaning solution can have a negative effect on your hardwood floor. It’s important to remember that when you clean your hardwood floors, you aren’t actually cleaning the wood—you are cleaning the chemical finish on the wood. The finish is the protective layer of your hardwood floors.

Since vinegar is an acid, it will actually break down the finish on the surface of your floor, and over time it will reduce the shine and leave a dull appearance. Using vinegar and water to clean floors can also lead to an excessive amount of water on the floor, which can cause swelling and discoloration.

The Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors

When it’s time to clean your floors, here are some hardwood floor cleaning tips to remember:

  • Prep your floor for cleaning by sweeping or dust-mopping to get rid of large particles of dirt and debris.
  • Use a pH neutral cleaner that will be gentle on your hardwood floors.
  • Use a fine spray mist to clean your floor in sections. Avoid putting too much liquid on your floors.
  • Use a microfiber mop to clean. Traditional mops can work, but they can leave excess water on your floors.

When looking for the best way to clean hardwood floors, skip using white vinegar and water to clean your floors. Using a specially formulated hardwood floor care cleaner is a smart way to maintain the beauty and look of your floors.

Source: Bona